Getting a Great Routine
Waking at the same time and going to sleep at the same time each day is a huge help. Creating a sleep routine will help your body make the chemicals that control sleep. Having a sleep routine such as listening to soothing music or doing stretching or relaxation exercises before bed can also remind the body that it is time to slow down and sleep. Taking a warm bath before bed may help you to feel relaxed and sleepy, and try to avoid using your bedroom to watch television or work so that when you do go to bed, your body knows that it is time to sleep.
No blue light
Electronic devices such as televisions, tablets and computers produce a certain type of light called “blue light”. Blue light interferes with a chemical called melatonin which helps us sleep, and it can also reduce a type of sleep called slow-wave sleep which is essential for us to feel rested.
Intense exercise that gets your heart beating faster is great for during the day but if done right before bed it can make you more alert. Gentle stretching, yoga and relaxation can be great before bed and do your intense exercise earlier in the day.
Cup of tea before bed?
Tea, coffee and alcohol all contained caffeine which will interfere with the quality of your sleep and prevent you from feeling rested when you wake up.
Avoid eating large meals late at night
A heavy meal before bed or too much spicy food at night can make it difficult to sleep, so consider how much you eat before bed. Herbal tea or a milky drink may help you relax but don’t drink too much before bed as this may mean you have to wake to go to the toilet at night
Make your bedroom cool
Sleeping in a slightly cooler room—around 17C is comfortable for most people, so make sure that you have enough, but not too much bedding. If you are disturbed by noise at night, consider wearing ear plugs and if you are woken by daylight, try a blackout blind.
Some prescription medicines can also affect sleep, such as some antidepressants, painkillers and betablockers, so it is worth discussing changing your medication with your GP if your tablets seem to be causing a problem.
More info at www.iosteopathy.org